Reaction Commerce – Why we need to take a serious look at it now
Reaction Commerce is an open source Metor.js based ecommerce platform developed from the ground up to be a game-changing e-commerce platform. Its been over 4 years in the making and has received recently been funded by Google Ventures. So the product is maturing and is being backed by a technology leader. So should you consider this for your next store? I think it’s at that point were many e-commerce shops should take a serious look at it now. Weather your managed by an agency like ours, or you have in-house developers, its definitely time to take a close look and maybe even get the prototypes going.
Reaction Commerce likes to use the analogy that many leading e-commerce platforms were invented before the iPhone to illustrate the issue. I think they may be targeting Magneto, as its 2008 debut would have made that the case. Magneto is a weave of many technologies that adds a huge layer of complexity to an app, EAV databases, JS libraries, Knockout, PHP and XML, to name a few. The release of Magento 2 now adds SASS compiling and a complicated build process to the mix. So they went up a factor in complexity, not down.
Backed by a Serious Framework
Reaction Commerce is based on the Meteor node.js framework. Meteor is a full-stack framework that further enables rapid software development through its large and growing following and community of experts. Currently, the platform has 5,500 active open source community developers. Being built on Meteor offers a single app framework that does not have the liabilities of weaving in multiple technologies a la Magento. But let’s not kid ourselves too much: node.js and Meteor have their own complexity issues, as they are large packages with many moving parts and dependencies. But compared to some other legacy systems they are many times less of a headache.
Its flexibility and open source backbone have poised Reaction Commerce firmly as the future of e-commerce platforms. This was recognized in the company’s recent $8.5 million in venture capital funding led by Google Ventures. This infusion of cash will be used by the company to further develop new capabilities across its platform and to more fully build out it’s engineering and support technical staff.
You Say You Want Cloud, Well Maybe You Want a Platform Instead
Reaction Commerce has a unique model for platform hosting that is native to the tool. You can deploy and manage your instances from the command line to that platform.
The cloud environment “Platform” allows Reaction Commerce to enable continuous integration as a key component. Usually, continuous integration is difficult since it requires numerous development cycles to create a process and to connect that process with your infrastructure. Reaction Commerce, however, was designed with continuous integration as part of its foundation. The platform management is built into the core. You save a ton of time here by realizing these quick integrations, and your shoppers get the best possible experience without lag time for crucial updates.
Also, deploying to the managed platform gives retailers the best of both worlds. You can have a cloud-like managed environment on this platform but at the same time have the flexibility of a completely controlled source code base. This is in contrast to systems such as Shopify Plus or Salesforce Commerce Cloud, where managed platforms can result in much less resilience. For companies that need that flexibility, it is a game changer.
Real-Time Could Be Real Cool
Reaction Commerce is also real time. It’s built on a single page Meteor.js framework that uses a simple pub/sub message pattern. In addition, it is event-driven. So, in a nutshell, the Reaction Commerce framework affords several possibilities for reacting to customer shopping behaviors with as many events triggers as you can imagine. (See https://blog.reactioncommerce.com/why-reaction-is-real-time/)
Reaction Commerce is still a young product. It is ramping up now after a few years of intense development to ensure that it can meet the goals of being the first and last shop any retailer should need for the foreseeable future. And it is positioning itself to meet challenges of a new era of e-commerce. By using new tools and techniques, it is creating a simple, fast and reliable tool for online sales. Its flexibility, strength from the open source community and backing from Google Ventures should position Reaction Commerce as the retail platform for the future. The 90 percent of retailers struggling with the challenges of fully embracing online sales should see a big glimmer of hope in the Reaction Commerce platform.